Nevada Insurance Commissioner Resigns; State Seeks Replacement

May 14, 2010

Nevada’s Business & Industry Director Dianne Cornwall announced that Nevada Insurance Commissioner Scott J. Kipper has resigned from the position, effective June 2, 2010.

Kipper has been insurance commissioner since December 2008, when he replaced Acting Commissioner Betty Baker who served after longtime Commissioner Alice Molasky-Arman retired from the post. Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Kipper served as the Oregon insurance administrator, and in Louisiana as the deputy commissioner in charge of the Office of Health Insurance for the state’s Department of Insurance. There, Commissioner Kipper led the development and implementation of emergency rules following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“It has been a privilege to serve the people of Nevada in this capacity,” said Commissioner Kipper, who told Insurance Journal he will be “exploring and examining other opportunities that are out there.” “This Division provides a vital service to the State, and it has been an honor to oversee it for the last year and a half. … It was just time to look at other opportunities.”

During his tenure in Nevada, Kipper helped to open the doors of communication between the Department, consumers and industry, by among other things, establishing an educational symposium, adding captive and producer licensing advisory committees, and upgrading the DOI’s Web site. He also helped to improve the captive program, making the state the fourth in the nation as a captive domicile.

Beginning on June 2, Brett Barratt, will oversee the Division as acting commissioner. Barratt became a member of the Nevada Bar in 2003. Upon bar passage, he practiced bankruptcy law, creditor’s rights, reorganization and civil litigation with the firm Shea & Carlyon,Ltd., in Las Vegas. Barratt began working for the Nevada Division of Insurance as Insurance Counsel and Hearing Officer in February 2005. In 2009, he was promoted to chief insurance assistant.

“Brett is involved with virtually all aspects of state insurance regulation, including the legislative process, which is a valuable asset,” said Director Cornwall. “His extensive experience will help ensure a smooth transition of leadership while maintaining the stability of this important regulatory agency.”

The Nevada Division of Insurance regulates Nevada’s $12 billion insurance industry, including licensing insurance agents, brokers and other professionals; setting ethical and financial standards for insurance companies; and reviewing rates. The Division is charged with protecting the rights of the consumer and the public’s interest in dealings with the insurance industry. The Division also reviews programs operated by self-insured employers for workers’ compensation and investigates claims of insurance fraud. The insurance commissioner is responsible for all facets of insurance regulation and the administration of personnel, and will be required to act as a hearing officer in insurance regulatory proceedings.

A nationwide search to find a new insurance commissioner has been launched. Barratt will serve as acting commissioner until a final appointment is made.

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